Women In Trucking Association is an organization whose mission is to “encourage the employment of women in the trucking industry, promote their accomplishments and minimize obstacles faced by women working in the trucking industry.”
Dictionary.com defines an association as “an organization of people with a common purpose and having a formal structure” or “a connection of ideas…correlation of elements of perception, reasoning, or the like.”
Although Women In Trucking has a focused membership that is industry related, many other organizations are more relaxed in their entrance threshold. For most, the goal is to promote a common interest. These include organizations such as The Society for Creative Anachronism, (sca.org) which is “dedicated to researching and recreating the arts and skills of pre-17th century Europe.” The group holds festivals, workshops, and more to encourage the common interest of the Middle Ages. The only requirement to join (and pay dues) is to waive any liability regarding safety at an event and send them a check.
You might be involved in an organization that promotes a sport or hobby, such as the National Rifle Association or the Soccer Association, or even The Knitting Guild Association.
If you like food, you can join the Association of Chinese Cooking Teachers, the Snack Food Association of the American Chuck Wagon Association, whose mission is to “preserve the heritage of the chuck wagon.” The only requirement to join is to support the mission, and pay dues.
Many people join an association because it relates to their job. If you are a court reporter, you’ll join the National Court Reporters Association, and if you’re a Funeral Director, you’ll want to join the National Funeral Directors Association.
If you don’t think global warming will clear your streets of snow this winter, you can join the Snow and Ice Management Association or the Accredited Snow Contractors Association, which will even certify your company as being “reliable, professional and trustworthy!”
If you live in the southern states you might be more comfortable with joining the Lawn and Landscape Professionals or the Nezperce Prairie Grass Growers Association for Kentucky bluegrass growers or the Turfgrass Producers of Texas who grow sod.
The health care community has more associations that you could imagine. There’s an organization for almost any disease you can name. You may have heard of the Ice Bucket Challenge that was initiated by the ALS Association, which is focused on finding a cure for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) commonly called Lou Gehrig’s disease.
Whether you suffer from heart disease (American Heart Association), diabetes (American Diabetes Association), HIV or AIDS (International AIDS Society or HIV Medicine Association) you can find a group committed to addressing the disease and supporting the victims. Some groups address a small part of the problem, like the “Association of Toll-like receptor polymorphisms with HIV status in North Americans.”
If there is an issue affecting some of us, there will be an association to bring those concerned about it together to fight the battle.
For the professionals who look for shared information to address some of these health issues, you can find groups such as the American Dental Association, the American Medical Association, the American Chiropractic Association and the American Holistic Medical Association.
If your focus is on transportation, you can find groups that support highways (American Association of State Highway and Transportation) or railroads, (Association of American Railroads), freight forwarding (International Air & Shipping Association), airlines (Airlines for America) or even cruise ships, (Cruise Lines International Association).
Truly, you can find an association for almost anything. You can join the Gender Education and Advocacy, (gender.org) which focuses on the needs, issues and concerns of gender variant people in human society.
If you struggle with losing weight, you might want to join the “National Association for Advance Fat Acceptance (NAAFA).” Their goal is to improve the quality of life for the obese. You can also support the National Eating Disorders Association, which focuses on bulimia, or the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (ANAD).
Seriously, there is an association for just about anything you can image… even for associations. The American Society for Association Executives supports the association executives who head all of these organizations. An annual convention offers insight into everything from software to board member recruitment.
Where there is an issue, there’s an association. Not all of them are as focused on a mission as Women In Trucking Association, but they all have a motivation and are supported by the dues paid by their members.
So, whatever thought enters your mind, there probably is an organization for that!